Barry M. Gough

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Barry Morton Gough
Born (1938-09-17) 17 September 1938 (age 78)
Victoria, British Columbia
Occupation maritime and naval historian

Barry Morton Gough (born 17 September 1938, Victoria, B.C.) is a global maritime and naval historian based on Canada's Pacific coast. Gough has made in the British Columbia and western North American context a number of monographic contributions to ethnohistory, cross-cultural relations, patterns of missionary acceptance among Northwest Coast peoples, frontier–borderland studies and environmental history.[1] Within the perspective of seapower worldwide,[2] he has worked to explore the maritime dimensions of British Columbia history and to recast and reaffirm the imperial foundations of Canadian history.[3]


Gough was educated at Victoria High School, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Montana. While earning his Ph.D. at King's College London, he was tutored in the maritime foundations of imperial history by G. S. Graham, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History in the University of London.[4] In addition to the earned doctorate, Gough was in 1991 awarded a Doctorate of Literature from University of London for distinguished contributions to Imperial and Commonwealth history.[5] His thesis research on the Esquimalt naval base and seapower and geopolitics across the Pacific Rim was published as The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914: A Study of British Maritime Ascendancy, the scholarly book marking the inauguration of UBC Press.[6] An expanded edition, Britannia's Navy on the West Coast of North America, 1812-1914, was published by Heritage House in 2016. [7]

Teaching and consulting[edit]

Initially joining the teaching staff of Victoria High School, Gough became in turn Lecturer, Assistant and Associate Professor at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and Co-director of the Centre for Pacific Northwest Studies. From 1972 to 2004 in the history faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University, he was Associate Professor, Professor and University Research Professor. He was founding director of Canadian Studies at Laurier, served as coordinator of Interdisciplinary Studies and Assistant Dean of Arts,[8] and on retirement was appointed University Professor Emeritus.[9]

His writings, including young adult non-fiction and coursework for civilian and military personnel, are used in various teaching contexts.[10] Gough was advisory editor to Macmillan Publishing for World Explorers and Discoverers (1992)[11]) and to Scribner’s for Explorers: From Ancient Times to the Space Age (1998),[12] and he was editor-in-chief of the magazine American Neptune based at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts (1997-2003).[13] Following on from the 2014 book From Classroom to Battlefield, he published suggestions on how to write a history of a Canadian high school and the First World War: the approach and methodology of the historian, materials available for use, and guidance to the historical background.[14]

Contract work in history has included Great Lakes shipwrecks research, the Alaska inland waters case on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice[15] and research materials for the Nuu Chah Nulth.[16] He was asked to prepare a historical legal claims dossier for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in the Meares Island case.[17]

Since 2007, he has been Adjunct Professor of War Studies and History, Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ont.[18] Gough has had visiting appointments and lectureships at University of Otago, Duke University, the University of British Columbia, Australian National University, University of Natal, National University of Singapore, King's College University of London, and the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, U.K.

Affiliations and affinities[edit]

Barry Gough is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of King's College London, UK, and Archives By-Fellow Churchill College, Cambridge, UK. He is Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and Honorary Research Associate, Malaspina Research Centre, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, B.C. He is also a Serving Brother of the Order of St. John.

He is a former president of the British Columbia Historical Federation, and in May 2016 was named BCHF honorary president, an "ambassadorial" or "historian laureate" role he understands as "a sort of spokesman and advocate for B.C. history." The federation, with ninety-nine member societies and roughly 25,000 members in B.C., works to recognize the historical preservation work being done through local museums, archives, collections and special projects, and honours those involved.[19][20] Gough is Past President of the Canadian Nautical Research Society, Past President of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island,[21] and past member of the Board of Academic Advisers, The Churchill Centre, Chicago.[22] He is a Life Member of the Association of Canadian Studies, founding member of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States and past chair of the joint committee, American Historical Association – Canadian Historical Association. He lectures on maritime and naval topics and on Canadian history and public affairs.

Gough is former Chair, Victoria High School Alumni Association, and is actively engaged in advancing the interests of the Maritime Museum of BC and Craigdarroch Castle Heritage Society in Victoria, B.C., and of the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, B.C. He is a long-time member of the non-profit society Universal Jazz Advocates and Mentors (U-JAM)[23] and as jazz clarinettist performed at Victoria International JazzFest 2014.


The British Maritime Foundation announced in November 2015 that Pax Britannica: Ruling the Waves and Keeping the Peace before Armageddon, on the role of the Royal Navy in shaping the British Empire and guarding its commerce, won the Mountbatten Literary Award 2015 for best literary contribution to the understanding of the importance of the seas.[24] "I've always felt the seas were blindsided in the writing of Canadian history, and I have made it my own particular calling to turn that around," Gough said in 1994.[25]

The U.K. award was followed in September 2016 by the highest award bestowed by the Washington State Historical Society, the Robert Gray Medal, for lifetime achievement.[26]

Dr. Gough has received the Psi Upsilon Distinguished Service Alumnus Award, the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Hoffmann-Little Award for Outstanding Teaching,[27] the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal[28] and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.[29] In November 2014, Her Honour Judith Guichon, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, presented him with the Maritime Museum of B.C.'s 2014 SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence.[30] The Hallmark Heritage Society chose Vic High alumni Gough's study of teachers and students in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, From Classroom to Battlefield: Victoria High School and the First World War, for its Communication Award.[31]

Prizes have included the Clio Prize of the Canadian Historical Association[32] and medals, awards and honourable mentions from a number of organizations: the North American Society for Oceanic History,[33] the Writers Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize,[34] the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, B.C. Book Prizes, and the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing given by the British Columbia Historical Federation.[35] Historical Dreadnoughts: Arthur Marder, Stephen Roskill and Battles for Naval History was chosen by the Canadian Nautical Research Society for its 2010 Keith Matthews Award, named in honour of the society's first president to recognize outstanding publications in the field of nautical research. Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and Northwest Coast Indians, 1846-1890 won the same award in 1985, and The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade, and Discoveries to 1812 earned honourable mention in 1993.[36]

Published works[edit]

A working historian and educator in maritime and naval scholarship, particularly of Pacific Northwest maritime history, Gough has also directed attention to the interior and northern regions of British Columbia.[37] His 1997 account of Sir Alexander Mackenzie's overland explorations to the Arctic and Pacific coasts, First Across the Continent, continues as a central contribution to the study of North American exploration in the 18th and 19th centuries.[38] Pax Britannica in 2014 has as its theme the intersection of British imperial and naval history during the post-Napoleonic nineteenth century.[39] [40]Britannia's Navy two years later documents within that global context a century of events in the Northern Pacific, jurisdictional disputes and developments in the U.S. and evolution of British Columbia's naval base at Esquimalt.[41] Gough’s books have received prizes in the United States, the U.K., Spain and Canada.[42]

Selected bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Inventory of work, University of Victoria Libraries, Victoria, B.C., search term "Barry M. Gough," online here; retrieved 2011-02-22.
  2. ^ Rose Simone, "Naval historian named research prof of the year," The Record (Kitchener, Ont.), 28 Oct 1994, p. B-4.
  3. ^ Works by or about Barry M. Gough in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  4. ^ G. S. Graham (University of London), 1964 lecture at Queen’s University Belfast, School of History and Anthropology, "An epoch of Maritime Empire: the nineteenth century," published as ‘’The politics of naval supremacy: Studies in British Maritime Ascendancy’’ (Cambridge, 1965); online here; retrieved 2011-02-25.
  5. ^ International Who’s Who 2004, entry at "Gough, Barry Morton"; Europa Publications/Routledge, p. 634; online here; retrieved 2011-02-02.
  6. ^ W. Kaye Lamb on The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914 by Barry M. Gough, BC Studies, No. 12 (Winter 1971/72), pp. 75-78; online here; retrieved 2011-02-25.
  7. ^ Rachel Lallouz, "Birth of Esquimalt as Empire's naval anchor topic in new book," Lookout, 22 Aug 2016, p. 10.
  8. ^ Biography note, B.C. Studies Conference, New Westminster, B.C., 2–4 May 2013; retrieved 2013 -05-01 at
  9. ^ Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont., Barry Gough fonds online here; retrieved 2011-02-09. The Canadian Studies curriculum was brought within the North American Studies program in academic year 2008/2009; Laurier Faculty of Arts home page, retrieved 2011-05-10 here.
  10. ^ Curriculum material in the Scribner Science Reference Series (Geography and Exploration – Biographical Portraits, Barry M. Gough, ed.; online here; retrieved 2011-02-24) and coursework in the DNDLearn modules, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ont., online here; retrieved 2011-02-26.
  11. ^ Bohlander, Richard E., ed., World Explorers and Discoverers (New York: Macmillan, 1992); bibliography and reading list online here; retrieved 2011-02-24.
  12. ^ Explorers sequence, information here; retrieved 2011-02-25.
  13. ^ As editor-in-chief of The American Neptune: Maritime History and Arts, refer here; for museum context, refer here; retrieved 2011-02-23.
  14. ^ Gough, Barry (2016) "Writing a Canadian High School History of the Great War: Victoria High School: Challenges, Pitfalls, and Sources," Canadian Military History 25, Issue 1, article 13; retrieved 2016-10-21 at
  15. ^ Case reference retrieved 2011-03-01 at here
  16. ^ Meares Island case Moses Marting et al. v. H.M. the Queen et al. specified in keynote intro, B.C. Studies Conference, New Westminster, B.C., 2–4 May 2013; retrieved 2013-05-01 at
  17. ^ Discussed in Gough, "Possessing Meares Island," Journal of Canadian Studies, 1 July 1998 (Trent University, Peterborough, Ont.); retrieved 2011-02-21 here.
  18. ^ Letter of appointment as adjunct professor of history, War Studies, RMC (online listings password-protected); course readings for HIE208 Canadian Military History (2010), Module 2, Week 3, Barry Gough and Roger Sarty, "Sailors and Soldiers: The Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Forces, and the Defence of Atlantic Canada, 1890-1914"; online here; retrieved 2011-02-26.
  19. ^ Don Descoteau, "Victoria-area author jazzed about B.C. history's future," Goldstream Gazette, 4 June 2016, retrieved 2016-06-06 at
  20. ^ BCTF council, page retrieved 2016-01-31 here; BCTF website,
  21. ^ Speaker, Churchill birthday 30 November 2005: "Titans at the Admiralty: Sir Winston and Admiral Lord Fisher"; speaker-archive at here; retrieved 2011-02-17. Churchill Foundation Vancouver Island,
  22. ^ Readings and reviews at Churchill Centre, Chicago online here; retrieved 2011-03-02.
  23. ^ Gough was 2012 president and continues to mentor. Laura Lavin, "Gallery gets jazzy," Saanich News, 27 Jan 2012, A-13; online here; retrieved 2012-02-28.
  24. ^ "Barry Gough wins the Mountbatten Maritime Award for Pax Britannica #MMA2015," Maritime Foundation @BMCF_UK Nov 12, 2015; Richard Watts, "Our History: When Britannia ruled the waves," Times Colonist, 9 Jan 2016, retrieved 2016-01-11 here.
  25. ^ Rose Simone, "Naval historian named research prof of the year," The Record (Kitchener, Ont.), 28 Oct 1994, B-4.
  26. ^ Citation 24 Sept 2016 by John C. Hughes, Chief Historian, Legacy Washington, Office of the Secretary of State, Olympia, WA; retrieved 2016-11-01 at WSHS announcement:; retrieved 2016-09-29.
  27. ^ Psi Upsilon Distinguished Service Alumnus Award, discussed online here; retrieved 2011-01-30; the Hoffmann-Little Award for Outstanding Teaching, online here; retrieved 2011-01-30.
  28. ^ Honours recipients, website of the Governor General of Canada, retrieved 2014-11-25 here.
  29. ^ Churchill Foundation Vancouver Island, newsletter 30 Aug 2012, "Barry Gough, recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, to give Presentation at Victoria Golf Club," retrieved 2012-10-17 here.
  30. ^ Katherine Dedyna, "Maritime historian honoured for his work," Times Colonist, 27 Nov 2014, A-6; retrieved 2014-11-27 here; co-honourees Leonard McCann and Captain Tom McCullogh received their medals at the Vancouver Maritime Museum; award recognition was also given in Victoria to the Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Sciences (ROPOS). Staff, "SS Beaver medals awarded to Vancouver-based recipients," BC Shipping News, 29 Oct 2014, retrieved 2014-11-26 here.
  31. ^ Annual awards 2015, Communication category 5 May 2015, Hallmark Heritage Society, Capital Regional District, British Columbia, retrieved 2015-05-25 here; citation text by Helen Edwards provided to Keith McCallion, email dd 9 May 2015 at 7:34:21 PM PDT.
  32. ^ CHA's Clio Prize criteria,here; retrieved 2011-03-02; Dundurn citation re Clio Prize: "Barry Gough, sailor-historian, is past president of the Organization for the History of Canada and the Official Historian of HMCS Haida, Canada's most decorated warship. His acclaimed books on the Royal Navy and British Columbia have received numerous prizes, including the prestigious Clio Award of the Canadian Historical Association"; retrieved 2011-03-02 here.
  33. ^ The North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) gives the John Lyman Book Awards annually for books published in six categories of the maritime history field. Gough's Fortune’s a River: The Collision of Empires in Northwest America (Harbour Publishing) was 2007 winner in category “Canadian Naval and Maritime History”; Through Water, Ice and Fire: Schooner Nancy of the War of 1812 (Dundurn Press) received a 2006 Honourable Mention in category “Canadian Naval and Maritime History”; and Fur Traders from New England: The Boston Men in the North Pacific, 1787-1800 (Arthur H. Clark Co.) was 1997 winner in category “Primary Source Materials, Reference Works, and Guide Books”; discussion of awards retrieved 2011-02-19 here.
  34. ^ Writers Trust of Canada list online here
  35. ^ B.C. Historical Federation criteria retrieved 2011-02-27 here; and list of winners retrieved 2011-02-02 here.
  36. ^ Awards list 1993, Keith Matthews Prize, Canadian Nautical Research Society, retrieved 2014-11-25 here; CNRS award citation text on website of Pen & Sword Books, ref. ISBN 978-1-84832-077-2, retrieved 2011-10-05 here.
  37. ^ Don Descoteau, "Victoria-area author jazzed about B.C. history's future," Goldstream Gazette, 4 June 2016, retrieved 2016-06-06 at
  38. ^ Jamie Morton, on First Across the Continent: retrieved 2011-02-27 here.
  39. ^ Matthew S. Seligmann (2015) Gough, B. (2014). Pax Britannica: Ruling the Waves and Keeping the Peace Before Armageddon, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 26:3, 552-553; retrieved 2016-02-18 at; Howard J. Fuller, The International Journal of Maritime History 27(3), 598-599; retrieved 2016-02-18 at
  40. ^ Wilfrid Laurier University, "Laurier Professor Emeritus Barry Gough receives acclaim for history book on the British Royal Navy," retrieved 2015-12-06 here and reposted here.
  41. ^ Rachel Lallouz, "Birth of Esquimalt as Empire's naval anchor topic in new book," Lookout, 22 Aug 2016, p. 10.
  42. ^ WSHS award citation, John C. Hughes, Chief Historian, Legacy Washington, Office of the Secretary of State, Olympia, WA; retrieved 2016-11-01 at
  43. ^ Fortune's a River context here; retrieved 2011-02-27.
  44. ^ Broughton's survey recounted; retrieved 2016-02-01 here.
  45. ^ Retrieved 2016-10-21 here.

External links[edit]